Mini Lab

8thdegreepwnologist8thdegreepwnologist Posts: 45Member ■■□□□□□□□□
So I bought a few things off ebay this past Friday for my mini lab. Of course the next day I started to find what seemed like better hardware for about the same money.
Here's what I picked up
(x2) 2621XM w/WIC-1DSU-T1
&
(x2) WS-C3550-24pwr-SMI

A few questions I have and probably could answer by searching the forum is can I install IOS 15 and what if any upgrades should I do to them?

Thanks!

Comments

  • clarsonclarson Posts: 897Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    to old. they don't support enough flash memory to install ios 15 of any of them
  • clarsonclarson Posts: 897Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    what feature set and version of the ios is installed?

    They are good enough to study for the ccna, and not so much for other certs.

    Yes, people do find that buying the cheapest equipment isn't always the best. Like you have found out, routers that do support version 15 of the ios is just $10-$20 more each. But, even then you need to know how much memory and which ios you are getting. Just because the hardware can run version 15 of the ios, it can't if it doesn't have enough memory to do so. and, if it doesn't come with version 15 of the ios, where are you going to get it.

    A lot of equipment when it was sold, it was running a version 12.4 ios and just enough memory to do that. they weren't going to pay Cisco prices for hardware and support for that hardware, just to have extra memory so they could do an ios upgrade years in the future. So, when you see them advertised as removed from a working environment or "as is", they probably cant run version 15 of the ios because they don't have enough memory. So, you always have to be aware of the hardware possibly needing additional memory. So, always find out how much there is. And, of course, if it doesn't come with ios 15, how are you going to upgrade the ios.
  • GDainesGDaines Posts: 273Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Lots of old threads discussing the best kit to buy so worth trying to find them (I know the Advanced Search doesn't narrow the posts down that well, I searched myself). If in doubt, ask first.

    My lab consists of 60-series switches (2960, 3560) where you bought older 50-series, and 2800-series routers (except for one 1841), where you bought older 2600-series. It's not that straightforward, there are a lot of factors to get right as you can still buy the wrong model if you don't understand, I did! That said, you'll still be able to make use of what you have, just buy newer next time.
  • 8thdegreepwnologist8thdegreepwnologist Posts: 45Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    ugh.
    I'll check their return policy.

    Thank you for the replies.
  • pinkiaiiipinkiaiii Posts: 216Member
    as some mentioned your still getting lab kit,while it wont be ios 15,not sure whats missing between two after 15 release,but certainly should be enough to crack ccna,and better then pt or gns3 since working on real gear,that said you can always sell afterwards once your done with study,dont think youll lose much cash.
  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Posts: 1,905Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Is running a newer version of the IOS that important to setting up a home lab to learn networking to pass the CCNA?
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • clarsonclarson Posts: 897Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    TechGromit wrote: »
    Is running a newer version of the IOS that important to setting up a home lab to learn networking to pass the CCNA?

    The test is written for version 15 of the ios. So, the syntax and output of those commands are what is going to be on the test. But, 12.4 commands are very similiar and shouldn't cause you any problems. If you know the material you will pass, if you don't you won't. But, if you fail by like 5 points, could it have made a difference?

    The real difference comes if you do other certs. As you do, the more you will find out your going to need equipment that runs version 15 of the ios. So, you have a trade off on spending $10-$20 more per piece of equipment now. Or, purchase it later, probably for a bit less because electronic equipment depreciates. But, you'd have to sell your old equipment to break even. And, you'd have do your transactions locally to avoid shipping cost. But, you probably will buy online. So, your out shipping costs twice. So you compare what the shipping costs are to the $10-$20 of newer equipment and you end up paying just a little more for newer equipment over the long run. And, you don't have the hassle of buying two labs and selling one of them.

    If your making networking you career, go with the newer equipment. If your just getting the ccna to round out your knowledge, get the cheap equipment. if you don't know, you cant go wrong with the newer equipment.
  • GDainesGDaines Posts: 273Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    TechGromit wrote: »
    Is running a newer version of the IOS that important to setting up a home lab to learn networking to pass the CCNA?

    No not really, it's all about whether you want to go on to do CCNP or some of the other CCNA tracks. For CCNA R&S IOS 12 is just fine, but if you're even contemplating that you might carry on with more certs after, then it makes sense to buy kit that can cover you for those certs rather than buying something too old and barely any cheaper that you're going to want to sell and replace.

    I have (and always wanted from the outset) 60-series switches and 800-series routers, I really didn't see the point in spending similar money on much older models. My 2811 routers can be upgraded with everything I need for Voice (actually that's part of Collaboration nowadays), and with the extra memory and bigger flash cards I've already fitted are already capable of running IOS 15 for CCNP if I decide to go for it. I wasn't quite so fortunate with my switches having bought a layer2 2960 and two layer3 PoE 3560's, if I'd known then what I do now I'd have kept my eye open for cheap 3560 TS switches that I can, if I want, put IOS 15 on as well and just bought a bunch of them.
  • aodfanaodfan Posts: 7Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    How much does it cost to upgrade one piece of hardware to IOS 15 anyway? Some of the talk on here sounds like no big deal to throw it on the device...
  • clarsonclarson Posts: 897Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    aodfan wrote: »
    How much does it cost to upgrade one piece of hardware to IOS 15 anyway? Some of the talk on here sounds like no big deal to throw it on the device...

    There isn't much to upgrade on switches. Either the hardware can run ios 15 or it can't. if it can then it is rather simple to install a version 15 of older equipment if you have the ios. the newer equipment requires licensing. So, you better get the feature set and ios version you want. Otherwise, send money to cisco for the license you require.

    For routers, there are those the can run version 15 and those that cant. Those that can need the proper amount of memory to do so. Those that can run version 15 usually have a flash card and it needs to be a minimum size to load version 15 of the ios unto it. And, they also require a minimum amount of ram to run version 15 of the ios.

    Most of the inexpensive routers are inexpensive because they are old. Which means they probably have the minimum memory to run version 12.4 of the ios which usually isn't enough to run version 15. So, you always need to know how much memory the router comes with so you can add the cost of a memory upgrade to get a total cost before you start buying equipment.

    Buy the right equipment it costs you nothing. Buy something needing memory, it will depend on the memory cost and shipping. Buy equipment that can't run version 15 and if you require version 15, you just wasted your money.
  • aodfanaodfan Posts: 7Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    clarson wrote: »
    There isn't much to upgrade on switches. Either the hardware can run ios 15 or it can't. if it can then it is rather simple to install a version 15 of older equipment if you have the ios. the newer equipment requires licensing. So, you better get the feature set and ios version you want. Otherwise, send money to cisco for the license you require.

    For routers, there are those the can run version 15 and those that cant. Those that can need the proper amount of memory to do so. Those that can run version 15 usually have a flash card and it needs to be a minimum size to load version 15 of the ios unto it. And, they also require a minimum amount of ram to run version 15 of the ios.

    Most of the inexpensive routers are inexpensive because they are old. Which means they probably have the minimum memory to run version 12.4 of the ios which usually isn't enough to run version 15. So, you always need to know how much memory the router comes with so you can add the cost of a memory upgrade to get a total cost before you start buying equipment.

    Buy the right equipment it costs you nothing. Buy something needing memory, it will depend on the memory cost and shipping. Buy equipment that can't run version 15 and if you require version 15, you just wasted your money.

    Thank you for the information. So on an older router, say an 1841, how do you go about getting the IOS since it can run IOS 15? From what I have seen you can only get it from Cisco, which you would have to have a contract with them for that old router, which wouldn't seem worth it.
  • clarsonclarson Posts: 897Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    buy one with it already installed and copy it to your other ones.
    phone a friend,
    google it,
    etc
  • GDainesGDaines Posts: 273Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    clarson wrote: »
    buy one with it already installed and copy it to your other ones.
    phone a friend,
    google it,
    etc

    Haha, these timezone differences have let you beat me to the answers clarson :D

    The best lab to buy would be a bunch of matching routers and layer3 switches capable of running IOS 15, but for CCNA they don't have to be just yet so you could start with older kit if you really want/need to. The 2811 router is a good choice as it ticks all the boxes, the 2821 and 2851 better again but they're bigger so you'll need a bigger rack, while the 1841 is okay as it'll also run IOS 15 but it's less expandable which will matter if you choose certain Cisco tracks. For switches look for 3560 'TS' models as the 'PS' models can't run IOS 15, but again at CCNA level you don't need layer3 so you could buy layer2 2960. That said, the lesser models that'll only work for CCNA cost a similar amount if you buy wisely so if I was starting again that's what I'd buy - 3x 2811 and 3x 3560-TS.

    As clarson also pointed out, 90% of what you'll buy will come with default ram and flash, it'll be running IOS 12, and it might not include rack mounts or cables, so you need to budget for adding these. Calculate the cost to get a device up to full spec, then that's the price you're looking to beat when seeing kit advertised that is already expanded. For a 2811 router the standard spec is 256mb ram, 64mb flash, IOS 12 spservices, but what you really want is 512mb ram, 128mb flash and IOS 15 advipservices or adventerprise.

    TIP: If you buy ONE device running the right version of IOS then you can copy it to your other devices that are the same model (you cannot use 2811 IOS image on an 1841 or vice versa though). However, just because the seller lists it as having IOS 15 doesn't mean it's the right IOS 15! I've seen unexpanded units listed as having IOS 15, but for the version you want they MUST HAVE 512mb or more ram and 128mb or larger flash card. If it's a lesser-version of the IOS then you're still likely to need to expand the device to install the preferred version, so watch that you don't spend more just because it says it's IOS 15.

    Finally, where do you get the IOS files to upgrade? The only two methods we are allowed to suggest as they're the only two legitimate methods are to pay Cisco copious amounts of money for a SmartNet support agreement (which will be way more than you pay for the device), or buy at least one device with the correct IOS version already installed. Getting the file from someone else is a grey area, and downloading from torrent sites is never a good idea for many reasons.
  • doctorlexusdoctorlexus Posts: 217Member
    As others have said, 12.4 will be fine to learn on for CCNA. You don't necessarily have to buy new equipment for CCNP either. Just move over to VIRL: VIRL - Virtual Internet Routing Lab
  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Posts: 1,905Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    clarson wrote: »
    There isn't much to upgrade on switches. Either the hardware can run ios 15 or it can't. if it can then it is rather simple to install a version 15 of older equipment if you have the ios.

    I took some 3750's when we upgraded to 3850's but I don't recall the version they were running at. I'll have to boot one up and check it out. I have access to the entire network, but can hardly make changes to "see" what happens. icon_twisted.gif Guess I'll have to break down and get a router off of Ebay to build a lab. I wonder if I really need a lab, is messing with offline switches enough? I have plenty of those to play with.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • clarsonclarson Posts: 897Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    depends on which model of 3750 you have. Just the plano 3750 can't run version 15 of the ios. But the 3750V2 and 3750G models can.
    But, even the plano 3750's are good enough for the ccna. and can do a lot of topics for the ccnp too. So, get what you can out of them.

    Might still need router or two for doing serial wan labs. But, looks like that is going away in the next ccna test version.
  • 8thdegreepwnologist8thdegreepwnologist Posts: 45Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I will say that having the routers and switches sitting next to me has really made networking a lot more interesting and its exciting now.

    Over the long weekend I made a couple of Cat6 patch cables. That was a humbling experience! I think it took me 20min to make them but hey I'm a noob and they both work! I'll time myself tonight. I think I can make a patch cable in 5min. maybe..
    What I noticed while making them is all the ways in which I can cause this cable to fail. Like cutting the pvc jacket, I was cutting, ever so slightly, into the twisted pairs. Also when I'd crimp the 8p8c I didnt have enough of the pvc jacket into the connector for the crimp to 'bite' into.

    Oh, I also learned how to boot a switch into recovery mode and rename the config. file so I could login. The switch still had the previous owers 'Mohegan Sun' login password set.

    Since once switch has a newer ios 12.2(55)? and has the crypto commands for ssh and the other switch does not. Im going to setup a tftp server tonight and learn how to copy/backup and install the newer ios over the older one with tftp commands.

    This is fun now!

    Check out what I used to create space between the routers and switches

    mini_lab.jpg


    ...spent .45ACP shells :)
  • clarsonclarson Posts: 897Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Looking good.

    Be careful though. Sometimes you just want to push that ethernet connector a little harder to get in the slot. It be terrible to push that stack over. And, there isn't a need for an air gap between the equipment unless you want it to be there.
    And, you might consider putting a coaster or a bit of cardboard under those shells to save that nice table from scratches.

    good to see your on your way. Welcome to how things work in the real world.
  • stryder144stryder144 Posts: 1,590Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Absolutely brilliant idea to use spent shells for spacers. How did you attach them?
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

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